Sebastian Kurz looks set to become the next chancellor of Austria. How old were Britain’s modern leaders when they entered office?
In the history of British prime ministers, just one has started the job at an age younger than Sebastian Kurz, William Pitt the Younger, who was just 24 when he took charge.
Here are the UK’s youngest leaders since 1900.
7th – Edward Heath (53)
Heath fought four elections as leader of the Conservative party, but only won one. In 1970, he became prime minister after defeating his political rival Harold Wilson. At the time, he was almost 54-years-old.
6th – David Lloyd George (53)
This Liberal giant became prime minister during the middle of World War One (in 1916) at the age of 53 years old. A University of Leeds/Ipsos MORI survey placed as the third greatest prime minister of the 20th century, falling only behind Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.
5th – Margaret Thatcher (53)
Thatcher’s rise to the top of the Conservative party after the 1974 elections shocked political Britain. Then in 1979, she defeated Labour to become the country’s first female prime minister. At the time, she was 53 years old.
4th – Harold Wilson (48)
Wilson led the country on two separate occasions. He first won in 1964 at the age of 48-years-old. After a four-year spell in opposition from 1970 to 1974, Wilson returned to government only to resign two years later, triggering a leadership contest in the party.
3rd – John Major (47)
After eleven long years of Thatcher-rule, Maggie stepped down from the country’s top job after realising she did not have the support she wanted from her party. This paved the way for John Major to take over. At the time, he was aged just 47-years-old. Two years later, he went on to secure a fourth victory in a row for the Conservatives.
2nd – Tony Blair (43)
Compared to Austria’s new chancellor, Blair was ancient when he took office, but in British standards – and world standards at the time – Blair was a young leader. He first became prime minister just days before his 44th birthday back in 1997.
1st – David Cameron (43)
When the then Conservative leader formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats in May 2010, he was aged just 43 years and 214 days old. He therefore beats Tony Blair by just over 100 days.
Will Britain ever have a 31-year-old prime minister?
Ages in this article are based off figures in this list.